Monday, 22 May 2017

We are #NotThe33

In the last general Election, 33% of the UK did not vote.

As a proud feminist I have always believed that as a women its not just my right to vote, but also my duty. So many women in this world do not have that basic right. They are fighting to be treated as an equal.

We don't need to fight.

What we do need to do though is make sure our voice is heard.

I have been vocal about the fact that I am a proud Labour supporter. As someone who works my arse off on nights in some of the busiest NHS wards, such as A&E, I see first hand what this Torie government has done to our fragile NHS. Despite what rent a gob Katie Hopkins may think, not everyone who is paid less than 80k is work shy. Nurses, Junior Doctors, Health Care Assistants, Phlebotomists, Physiotherapists ... all of these people that keep the NHS running day in day out earn far less than 80k.

Just think about it for a moment OK.

Bank Holidays, Nights, Weekends. We are there.

I have literally been there as someone starts there life, and held someones hand while they take there last breath and this is a system that will not be able to carry on the way we are going.

TODAY is your last day to register to vote.

Please don't waste it

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A postcard from Ibiza ...

Yes, OK I will admit before I start that this is going to be one of those posts that I am going to look back on every time I am sat on the bus hating life. If you didn't know already I spent the last week in Ibiza, and it was without a doubt the best holiday I have ever been on. You can read more about why over on Shoestring Chic this Friday, but for now, here are some of the photos I took of the beautiful Island!

We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Bahamas Playa Den Bossa which was just a 10 minute transfer from the airport. Within an hour of landing we had got to the hotel, checked in and had a cocktail! You can't complain!

The Thomson excursions were so over priced (we wanted to go to the Hippie Market in Es Cana, but it was 50 Euros for a coach ...) So instead we took ourselves on the bus for 1,90 off to Eivessa which was beautiful! Lots of little side streets and a beautiful harbour!

We also got up at 6;30am one morning to watch the sunrise on the beach which was literally outside our hotel. I didn't take my camera with me (I did get some cheeky ipod shots) but I really just wanted to be in the moment and it was wonderful.

I wish I had taken more photos of the food because it was absolutely fantastic! On the last night of our holiday we were treated to a 7 course taster menu, included in our all inclusive package, and I have never been so excited by a menu! The mojito sorbet though ... I could have had that everyday!

Oh an we also could see the airport from our balcony so we spent many a night drinking red wine, watching the sunset and the aeroplanes taking off and landing!

Charlotte Lucy

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Wellness For The Unwell: Manifesto

I have always been massively interested in the wellness industry. I remember spending my teenage years reading the (now defunct) Zest magazine like it was my bible. It was there that I found out about Cherry Good which is now my ultimate favourite juice drink! My problem was always that I felt that the most important message in these magazine was always thin is in. thin is in. TO BE HEALTHY YOU HAVE TO BE THIN.

As with anything that has gone mainstream, especially in the blog world I think that people are stressing themselves out trying to do EVERYTHING to make themselves subscribe to the wellness industry. While I was on holiday I read this fantastic book, The Wellness Syndrome, which talks about how it has seeped into every aspect of our lives. How people have become obsessed with tracking their bodies like machines. How we seem to wear stress and less sleep as badges of honour, when actually wellness is about nourishing your body.

And so this series was born.

As someone who works night shifts and lives with fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety and depression my "wellness goals" may not be on the traditional spectrum. I understand that every single body is different and everyone's priorities are different. Throughout this series I am going to talk about things I have done for my personal wellness journey, but this is the promise I make to you all:

  • I will never mention numbers such as weight or calories.
I don't think that they are beneficial to anyone. In case you missed on my instagram, back at the beginning of the year I threw away my scales and I haven't looked back! Yes I did slip up once and weigh myself on someone Else's scales, which annoyed me more than anything. Why did I feel the need to know that number? It is merely a number and doesn't define anything.

  • I will try my up most not to use ableist language
I am only human, but I want you my readers to tell me if I do. Examples of this, I hate it when blogs and magazines tell readers to "just use the stairs, its that simple." when actually that's not practical for everyone. Sometimes when my Fibromyalgia is really bad walking up a flight of stairs would use my whole days energy and perhaps leave me bed bound the next day. I don't need to be made to feel guilty because of that.

  • I will never advocate a one size fits all approach
I am not a doctor. I am not a dermatologist. I am not a therapist. I will never recommend anything for you personally. For example, I take anti depressants. I know they are not for everyone but I took a sharp decline in my mental health when I stopped. Although I am going to be exploring mindfulness, meditation, sleep therapies, vitamins, supplements etc I am going to be doing all these things alongside my medication. This doesn't make me weak, but it doesn't make medication the right solution for everyone

  • I will never promote anything that I don't personally use.
This is a big thing in the blogging industry with sponsored posts etc. Yes I am going to be working with brands throughout this series but I will never promote anything that I don't personally use, find effective and think is worth the money.

So there you have it. I really hope you enjoy this series as its something I feel really passionate about writing!

Charlotte Lucy

Sunday, 23 April 2017

That Sunday Post: Nine

I have missed writing these posts! The problem with depression is that sometimes you have to just have to retreat from things and rememeber that actually there is more to life than the internet. So i retreated. I went to the #IntuSpringStyle event and bloody loved it! I met some really nice bloggers and it also reaffirmed my love for fashion and helped me start to see again where I want this blog to go! I also started my Beauty Under A Fiver series which seems to have gone down well so far!

What else have I done? I have given blood, I have been for afternoon tea, I have spent a lot of time swimming and in the jacuzzi, I have worked on some different wards, I have eaten and drank a lot of food and spent some time with a lot of my friends!

I have also been spending a lot of time in bed watching netflix (I have been really into Benidorm again recently) and eating chocolate (the dairy milk mint oreo is fabulous). Trying to avoid all the drama going around the blogosphere and just generally thinking about myself!

I'm struggling with my pain control at the moment, I am taking a lot of painkillers and taking things easy BUT I am going on holiday soon and I have a huge list of blog posts I would like to get going, keeping this space to focus on Health, Food and Lifestyle while Shoestring Chic focuses on budget fashion, makeup etc

Charlotte Lucy

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Best Post Night Shift Breakfasts In Leicester

If you didn't know already (and really if you don't I obviously don't moan about it here as much as I thought I did) I work night shifts. I am a health care assistant and as I don't have a permanent ward any more I never really know what to expect from my shifts. I generally do Monday to Wednesday night every week and my shifts can range from very relaxing (yes it does happen) to not stopping all night long (which is more of the norm)

One of the rituals I tend to stick to though is after my last night is that I go to my gym for a swim, jacuzzi, hot tub and long hot shower session and then I treat myself to breakfast. After trying out a few different places in Leicester these are my favourites ...

Built in 1723 and in the beautiful lanes area of Leicester, Mrs Bridges has long been my favourite for afternoon tea but it wasn't until recently that I started going for breakfast. From a traditional English breakfast to the (still to be sampled) Caspian breakfast which has waffles, avocado, cream cheese and smoked salmon, I am sure there is something for everyone! My absolute favourite so far though is the french toast pictured above which I could eat every single day! All the breakfasts are £6.50 too which is a bloody bargain! They open at 9, so especially if I am working at the hospital out of town there's not long to wait!

Not far from Mrs Bridges in St Martins Square is Kai. The only dish I have tried from Kai is the eggs Benedict, but it is beautiful enough to earn it a spot on this list ... that's surely a reason to give it a go? Some days I just have to think of the eggs Benedict to get me through! The only problem is I am not sure of the opening times! Some days I feel like I am waiting forever and it doesn't open so I end up going to another place ... luckily I have lots of choice!

My all time favourite coffee shop to go for the absolute best non dairy lattes. I am not vegan or dairy intolerant but with my IBS milk and coffee together do not seem to be a good mix. Dolce and Verde is probably the most chilled out coffee shop ever (and they always have a great play list on) So I love having my breakfast, a good oatly latte and anything off the breakfast menu ... although my favourite was probably the breakfast wrap from the specials menu. The staff are always friendly and I couldn't recommend it more!

If you fancy a quick bite or maybe to grab and go I can't recommend the 200 degrees coffee shop which has not long opened on market street Leicester. Like Dolce and Verde this opens early meaning that its open before I even get into town! I went in there for a chilled morning and a bacon sandwich, when I saw they do rubbed bacon ... bacon that is rubbed with coffee! It was quite a strange taste, but nonetheless delicious and that's why its made it into my favourites!

Have I missed out your favourite breakfast spot? Is there anywhere you think I should visit?

Charlotte Lucy 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Discovering My IBS Triggers With The Food Diary Co

You will know by now I have IBS. If you didn't this is probably your first time on this blog, so in that case hello my name is Charlotte and IBS has been part of my life for the past 13 years (or half my life if you want to look it it like that.)

I am also an anxiety sufferer and I am stuck in a bit of a chicken or the egg situation with my bowels and my mind, which is causing which and which should I focus on first in the ongoing battle to live a happy, pain free life. As it turns out tackling both at the same time seems to be the only way to truly see whats making it worse.

When I discovered The Food Diary Co on twitter I messaged them straight away to see if they would like to work with me (something I struggle with doing) and was thrilled when they said Yes! These diaries are the first I have seen that as well as being a conventional diary also have spaces to write things such as stress levels and sleep!

This is where the diary has really come into its own for me. After trying and failing the FODMAP diet and finding that while on Symprove I was going to the toilet even more a day then normal (which could be anywhere from 3 to 30!) I was constantly tying myself in knots of what I could and couldn't eat. I wouldn't go anywhere I didn't know where there was a loo and I had a long list in my head of things I thought would make me poorly.

It didn't take long using the diary though to realise that the anxiety I held around eating was meaning that anything I didn't consider safe would cause me to panic before I ate it and set the whole cycle in motion. I will be going into detail with this in a later post but thanks to the diary I realised that getting my mind in a state of calm before eating would inevitably mean less side effects after!

Its not as straight forward as my IBS is cured (wouldn't that be nice?) and I am still continuing to use the diary to discover what my triggers are but I couldn't recommend it enough! Keep an eye out for future updates but please make sure to go follow The Food Diary Co!

Charlotte Lucy